Limited supply spikes Dungeness crab prices
Dungeness crab is already being sold for prices it usually doesn’t fetch until late spring at the end of its season: It’s up to $8.99 to $10.99 per pound from an initial $5.99 or $6.99 a pound. According to local fishermen, that’s due to limited supply, both locally, where crab numbers are lower due to natural cycles, and regionally due to season-opening delays to the north.
Contrada returns after renovations
Cow Hollow’s Contrada is back open tonight after several weeks of renovations, which included the installation of a new downstairs prep kitchen, a wood burning grill from J&R manufacturing, and an opened-up kitchen, with new, Heath ceramic tile walls. It all means that chef Jason Tuley, known for his pizza and pasta, will be grilling up more dishes like duck with sour cherry jus and black sea bass. Here’s the new menu.
Almanac Taproom begins brunch service
Brunch siren: Almanac’s 24th Street beer bar and restaurant has a new morning menu served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef Justin Wright, who took over the kitchen from Mason Pacific, is whipping up smoked trout benedicts, baked eggs consuela, and sourdough french toast to go with pours of Almanac’s beers. Speaking of which, the beer menu has also been reformatted, and prices reduced. At brunch, they’ll serve “beermosas” (saison and OJ) and micheladas.
Temescal cheese shop Sacred Wheel to close
7-year-old shop and restaurant Sacred Wheel will close after Saturday, December 23 — the last day to buy cheeses, cured meat, and dine on gilled cheese sandwiches with PBR-infused tomato soup. Owner Jena Davidson is leaving the area due to rising costs, and two employees who had agreed to purchase the shop to keep it going are no longer able to keep up with expenses.
There’s a Hanukkah speakeasy at a Christmas pop-up bar
During Hanukkah only — which lasts through next Wednesday, December 20, North Beach Christmas bar pop-up Deck the Halls is giving Jews their due with Dreidel bar, a speakeasy-style space upstairs that fits just 6 to 12 people. Up there, they’ll pour cheeky drinks like the “Shiksafest '99 — vodka, fresh lemon, elderflower, and Dave Matthew's phone number” and a not very kosher “Treif-ashioned — bacon fat washed bourbon, maple, orange bitters, shame.”
Augie’s Montreal Deli plots opening in Berkeley
Lex Gopnik-Lewinsk, who grew up in Berkeley but was born in Toronto, is bringing a taste of Canadian smoked meat to town with a new brick-and-mortar restaurant called Augie’s Montreal Deli, formerly the pop-up Augie’s Smoke Meat. The space is 875 Potter Street (near 7th Street), and it’s currently under construction: Stay tuned for more on their poutine, Montreal-style pastrami ribs, and live televised hockey.